What games are you playing now?
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What games are you playing now?
February 9th, 2011, 20:31
A word of warning: There may be some slight inaccuracies in this report, and I have the feeling that I've said some of these things before, but I can't remember where and when (but at least after the year 2000). If all this is familiar, either decide that a good thing can't be said too often. Or skip the followin lines.
Currently I'm mostly playing LOTRO.
I was a bit concerned when they went for the free to play/micro transactions model, but so far it hasn't been too intrusive. There is the LOTRO store icon. And occasionally you get an alert saying you've just earned 10 turbine points and where you can spend it. There is also a button in the crafting panel where you can click to buy materials. But all in all, it's not too disturbing, easy to overlook.
I like the setting and I like the environments. I spend most my time in the more eerie parts of the world: Old forest, Barrow downs, North Downs. Lots of things to do. It doesn't have as many at-the-same-level areas as for instance Wow, but there is a lot of things to do, so you can easily level 2 or 3 characters without repeating yourself.
The different races are portrayed well, I think, behaving like I expected they would from the books. All in all, the lore is great - no surprise there, if you like the books. In fact it adds to my enjoyment of the books (I reread the first one a couple of months ago), in that I get to see places I didn't remember were there (like the village of Scary in the shire). Hereby recommended.
I also like how the main quest line touches the main LOTR story line. Basically you're a supporting act, helping Frodo and company in the background. I think this part of the game is very well executed. BTW: The main quest line can be completed as a solo player. The final big boss steps all (at least those I've done) let you choose between fellowship mode or single player mode.
The character classes are among the best I've seen ever, especially the most recent ones: The Warden (a noisy spear-fighting thing), and the rune keeper. Who keeps runes. And uses them for fighting. These two classes offers a lot of different tactics. I've only scratched the surface.
And the roleplay aspects can be very good, too - it's the only MMO where I've seen people sitting in the local inn, planning their next raid. IN CHARACTER. Far less silly names and annoying jumping like in that other game.
One thing I don't like: The crafting system. You don't select crafting skills freely, they come in packages of 3, so called vocations. Some of the choices seem illogical. Why would a historian, interested in scholarly stuff be interested in perfecting himself as a weapon smith? I know it's there to encourage people to cooperate, you need to get some materials from others. But this way of doing it seems very artificial. And it isn't necessary - in that other game you can select these professions freely, but you still need to get some materials elsweyr. At the moment I'm playing a guardian, which is basically a tank. For him I've chosen the armourer vocation, which have prospector for mining, metalsmith for makiung armour. And tailoring, which makes some sense, maybe, as this is also armour making. But don't need it, and I end up not using tailoring at all (also because I need to buy the materials I need from others).
So which game do I prefer: LOTRO or WOW? Depends on what I'm after. LOTRO is a very "serious" game. If I want light hearted gaming, with lots of fun don't care about depth, I go for Wow. If I want something more than that (and we're still talking about MMO's) it's LOTRO. And currently, LOTRO is my game.
And of course it's a bit refreshing to get out of the stereotypical halfling-dwarf-elf setting.